Many people undervalue the importance of the Christmas wreath decoration when getting their home ready for Christmas. There are a few things to consider before you disregard the wreath as an unimportant decoration – once you know why it is important I am sure you will change your mind about it. Firstly, consider the shape of a wreath. It is round. This symbolises forever or eternity. Because it is not an open ended shape it shows the togetherness of things and is representative of a cycle that is constantly repeating itself. In classical Christianity the wreath is symbolic of the coming of Christ. It is a fitting symbol because Christ was born again – which is indicative of the first point, eternity. It is also a symbol of the eternal life that can be found when you put your faith in God. In this respect, the wreath is a deeply symbolic item in the Christian faith.
The wreath that is specific to the Christian faith is the advent wreath. Christmas wreath decorations are typically an advent wreath. It is believed that the advent wreath does not have a history that dates back to the birth of Christ; rather it was used by Johann Wichem to explain to children what Christmas represented. However, Wichem did not use a wreath made from various plants and flowers, he used a cart wheel. We actually utilise plant materials to make our advent wreaths in modern times to add an extra layer of symbolism upon this. The leaves and greenery used to make the wreaths symbolise new life and God as a means to a beginning with no end – which is fairly profound stuff if you reflect on it for a moment.
The advent wreath has become a common symbol of Christmas. Its meaning is not often known however and people often overlook the use of the wreath in their common Christmas decorating. Christmas wreath decoration is integral to Christmas tradition as a whole. Whilst it may not be an ancient custom (in regards to Christmas) it does have deep seated roots in religion. It was often worn upon the head on holy days by pious people. It is a religious symbol for many faiths – as is the circular shape of the decoration and the colours and materials it is manufactured from. If you are planning to purchase a wreath, take care of it now that you know what it symbolises.